A digital signature (standard electronic signature) takes the concept of traditional paper-based signing and turns it into an electronic "fingerprint.” This "fingerprint,” or coded message, is unique to both the document and the signer and binds both of them together. It is essentially required to prove your identity in an electronic transaction.
In case of Hard copy signing, the message binds the owner of the message, but not so incase of digital world. E mails can the spoofed or manual signature on scanned copies can be duplicated, so a digital signature is used to achieve the properties of a manual signature. It establisher Authenticity (Establishing the identity of the Person who has signed it), Integrity (That the documents is unchanged after Signing it), Non repudiation (That the person who has signed cannot deny it later).
The Information Technology act has accorded authentication of electronic document by the means of digital signature issued by a licensed Certifying Authority under the Controller of Certifying Authority, Ministry of IT, India.
A certifying authority is a body entrusted to issue, revoke, and renew Digital Signature Certificate. The digital signature certificate of the applicant is signed by the CA. Under Sec 24, of the Information Technology Act 2000 a Certifying Authority means a Person who has been granted license to issue Digital Signature Certificates. A list of Valid CA in India can be traced at https://cca.gov.in/cca/?q=licensed_ca.html.
A digital Signature Can be used for
- Securing mail by signing and Encrypting the Same
- Signing PDF, Word, Excel Files
- Filing Income Tax Return
- Filing E Forms with the Ministry of Corporate affairs
- Submit of E Tenders , Bids.
You can apply for Digital Signature on www.signatureplanet.com. Signature Planet is a Valid Licensed Registration Authority of SafeScrypt, CA in India.
Following Class of Signature are legally valid and used generally
- Class 2 Digital Signature: Here the identity of the person is verified against a trusted and pre verified database.
- Class 3 Digital Signature: This provides highest level of assurance as the certificate applicant has to prove his identity in front of the Registration Authority.
Yes you have to submit documents as per the digital Signature Class. Please refer the Product section for complete set of Documents required for obtaining Different classes of Signature.
A digital Signature can be revoked if the Digital Signature private key has been compromised, the subscriber details are changed, or change in relationship with the employer. For details on revocation you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A digital signature private has to be stored securely; you can do the same by
- Protecting the private key with good password
- Storing the digital signature in Crypto Tokens/USB Based Smart Cards or Tokens
- Protect computer from unauthorized access
You should apply for Revocation of the certificate and apply for new one.
You have to take backup of your digital signature in pfx or p12 format. If you have even deleted the backup file, then you have to apply for revocation and obtain a new digital signature.